Georgia residents may benefit from adding a durable power of attorney to their estate plan. A power of attorney allows an individual to name an agent to act on his or her behalf. By making that power durable, the agent may act even when the person who appointed that agent is mentally incapacitated. Depending on a person's needs, it may be possible to give one or more people a power of attorney.
Some Georgia residents may not want to pay for an attorney to help them create an estate plan. However, there may be downsides to using a will template or other templates that can be downloaded from the internet. For instance, those who have children and are thinking about getting remarried may want to create a custom estate plan. As a general rule, it is better to create a trust with the help of a professional.
When Georgia residents begin the estate planning process, they are often concerned about issues such as asset distribution, establishing trusts, and end-of-life decision-making. Sometimes, however, estate planning neglects the issue of final arrangements.
With a qualified personal residence trust, a Georgia resident can transfer their home to a trust and reserve the right to live on the property for a certain number of years. Conducting a home transfer with this type of trust reduces the amount of gift tax an individual would owe and eliminate the value of the home from one's estate.
How many people today lack a will? A report from the American Association of Retired Persons showed that only about four out of every 10 American adults have crafted a will.
Many Georgia business owners require steady cash flow to support their other investments and family. Much effort is put into establishing a solid business and growing the many relationships it relies upon, yet many Johns Creek owners fail to protect those efforts in case of disaster. In one survey, a majority of entrepreneurs were found to have not included the estate planning documents that many professionals consider essential for asset protection and succession.
When Georgia residents are planning their estates, there are many ways for them to ensure that their loved ones will be provided for. However, there are situations where they may want to keep control over their assets. Irrevocable trusts not only allow people to retain control, but there may also be tax savings and other financial benefits.
Many Georgia residents draft their own wills. However, they should be aware of which mistakes to avoid so that their preferences are honored after they die. One is failing to name all immediate relatives or those who would have cause to contest the contents of a will. Relatives are entitled to know if they have been disinherited, which the court will do when the will has been submitted for probate. The will should include names of living and deceased spouses, parents, children and siblings and should detail who has been disinherited.
Georgia residents who wish to leave a portion of their estate to a charity might want to use a charitable split-interest trust. This type of trust provides an income for the beneficiary as well as supporting a charity. With a charitable remainder trust, there is a set amount of time in which the trust pays the settlor or the beneficiary at least once a year. At the end of the term, which could be a person's lifetime, the remaining assets go to the charity. With a charitable lead trust, this is done in reverse with the charity receiving distributions for a set period of time and the remaining assets going to the beneficiary at the trust's end.
When Georgia residents have worked all their lives to build up a sizable estate, they may worry their heirs may not be good money managers or will fritter away their inheritances in a short while. There are, however, ways in which they can protect their heirs from themselves.